American Gothic

  • 1988
  • 1 HR 30 MIN
  • R

A group of friends, including the mentally unstable Torgov, fly off together for a camping trip, only to experience engine trouble, forcing them to make an unscheduled landing on a remote island. They discover at the other end of the island a house furnished straight out of the 1920s, complete with Victrola and photos of the Gish sisters. Soon the occupants,...read more

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A group of friends, including the mentally unstable Torgov, fly off together for a camping trip, only to experience engine trouble, forcing them to make an unscheduled landing on a remote island. They discover at the other end of the island a house furnished straight out of the 1920s,

complete with Victrola and photos of the Gish sisters. Soon the occupants, Steiger and De Carlo, arrive and insist that everyone stay for supper and the night. Eventually the guests are introduced to the elderly couple's daughter, Wright, and son, Pollard, who soon thereafter knock off one of the

campers. By the finale everyone is dead but Torgov, whose nuttiness nearly matches that of the backwoods clan. Despite the rather obvious plotting, derivative of everything from PSYCHO and more recent Spam-in-a-cabin epics to THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, this Canadian effort is mildly interesting.

Without a doubt, however, the performances of Steiger and Torgov are the most noteworthy aspects of the film. Steiger's Bible-spouting, moralizing patriarch is superb, given the weakness of the material in general. Torgov's part is better written, and she makes the most of it, letting us see

madness in her eyes better than anyone since Barbara Steele. And Michael J. Pollard is always weird, even when he's not in a horror film.

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